France has issued a statement, saying it will recognise a Palestinian state if another push for a two-state solution fails.
On Friday, the French foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, announced France’s plans to try and organise an international peace summit to renew diplomatic efforts between Israel and the Palestinians. He said that if diplomacy failed, France would formally recognise a Palestinian state.
Fabius spoke at a conference of French diplomats in Paris and said, “Unfortunately, Israeli settlement construction continues. We must not let the two-state solution unravel. It is our responsibility as a permanent member of the UN security council.”
Peace talks between Israel and Palestine began during the Oslo Accords in 1993. Since then, we have seen no progress in the permanent status negotiations regarding the following issues: borders of Israel and Palestine, the Israeli settlements, the status of Jerusalem and the right of return for Palestinian refugees. By delaying peace talks, Israel has successfully expanded it borders, increased its settlement activity, rapidly grown settler populations in Jerusalem and continues to refuse the entry of Palestinian refugees, while at the same time under The Law of Return, every Jew, wherever he/she may be can become an Israeli citizen.
Currently 136 countries recognise Palestine as a state. France’s move is another reminder to Israel that it cannot continue to delay peace negotiations in order to colonise more Palestinian land.